Family TIme Under the Sea


This weekend, my Sister, Son, Daughter-in-law and Grandson went the Cleveland Aquarium.

 

We had a wonderful time, watching the sea creatures (and a couple of land creatures) and remembering the importance of other species in our world.

 

Watching my grandson, and all the other children (and grown-ups) learning new things, exploring a new world was both exhilarating and oddly peaceful, as was walking under sharks and other fish through a huge plexiglass tube running through the aquarium.  It was amazing to see sharks and barracuda going right over your head.  It was also dizzying and little weird, but one of the most incredible experiences.

 

Here’s a small view of what we experienced.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Sandtiger Shark - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sandtiger Shark – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Sea Anemone - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sea Anemone – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Sunburst Starfish - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Sunburst Starfish – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Starfish - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Starfish – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Snowflake Eel with Coral - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Snowflake Eel with Coral – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

Tortoises - Cleveland Aquarium - Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Tortoises – Cleveland Aquarium – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

Everyday Struggles


All people face struggles everyday, from the simple to the complicated, no matter who we are, or what our lifestyle is, and we all try to face our own burdens with dignity. This is a call to do what you can to assist the people struggling around you. You can be someone’s hero or heroine.

This video by Shannon Curtis shares some of what we all face.

What are you facing and how can sharing your own difficulty help other people face theirs?  It’s something to think about. Everytime you assist another human being, you are bringing peace to the world.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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This beautiful music video from Shannon Curtis highlights some of the struggles many of us face every single day. You don’t need the sound to read the words on the screen, but if you can turn it up, it’s pretty powerful.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 

Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

Beginning Today


Poems of Praise

Beloved is the One Who spoke and all things came to be!

Beloved are You!
Beloved is the One who created

all in the beginning!
Beloved is the One Who speaks and acts!

Beloved, Who determines and fulfills!

 

Beloved, Who deals kindly with the world!

Beloved, Who acts kindly towards all creatures!

 

Beloved, Who responds with good to those in awe!

Beloved, Who removes the dark and brings the light!

 

Beloved is the One Who lives eternally.

Beloved, Who delivers and redeems!  Beloved are You and Your name!

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Iris and Rhody

Blue Iris – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

Starting today….

I will open my mind and heart to others in need.

I will try my hardest to do my best.

I will make new friends.

I will take the advice I get from those who care.

I must learn to be myself, and love myself.

I will listen to more music and write more music.

I will try to make somebody’s day a little bit better.

I will have fun!

I can express myself.

I will write about my feelings.

I will reflect on the past.

I will look towards the future because it is coming soon.

 

Today is the day I will begin

I will continue to smile.

I will dream about tomorrow.

I will challenge myself.

I shall travel to new places and see new things.

 

I will do more good deeds.

You see, these are the things

I hope for so much.

I will live; I will love; I will learn;

and I will pray.

 

–Andrea Levick

 

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Rainbow1

Rainbow – Copyright Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

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Wishing everyone a Peaceful and Harmonious Weekend

Namaste

Barbara

 

My Dream


I have a dream, a dream of peace. My dream is a world without borders between countries. Mother Earth would be one endless landscape where all are welcome and appreciated. My world would have new priorities. People would see themselves in others and therefore would not work to hurt or disparage others.

 

Resources would be willingly shared with all no matter what they look like or who they love. I dream that the homo sapiens would face challenges in our world together. No one looking to be more or have more than other people.

 

I dream of a world where communities are not deliberately fragmented. No one must do without because it is inconceivable not to share. It matters to each of us that we all have what we need to thrive and enjoy success.

 

As I watched the mountains turn a little more green each day, I was mesmerized by all the shades of green and the light. It shimmered and shined across the mountains. The peacefulness was healing and inspiring. Each day, a different kind of tree began to bloom. From the bottom of my heart, I was filled with gratitude for being able to watch life come out of its long winter sleep. There were many people around me who were sharing the same experience. A smile here, a nod there and we knew that we were filled with gratitude and love for our planet.

 

Mother Earth was a gift given to humans from the Universe. Each blade of grass, each leaf on trees and shrubs, each floral scent carried on the wind is a boon for our lives. Life is precious and it is found everywhere. We are charged to take care of each other and what we have been given. It is up to us to love and care for everyone. It is up to us to care for everything in our world. We need to be responsible.

 

“Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day—

and to her soil: rich, rare, and sweet

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing light-changing leaf

and fine root-hairs; standing still through the wind

and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Air, bearing the soaring Swift and the silent

Owl at dawn. Breath of our song

clear spirit breeze

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers and sisters, teaching secrets,

freedoms, and ways; who share with us their milk,

self-complete, brave and aware

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Water; clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers,

holding or releasing, streaming through all

our bodies salty seas

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to the Sun, blinding pulsing light through

trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where

bears and snakes sleep-he who wakes us-

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to the Great Sky

who holds billions of stars–and goes yet beyond that-

beyond all powers, and thoughts

and yet is within us-

Grandfather Space. The Mind is his Wife.

so be it.

—Gary Snyder (after a Mohawk prayer)

 

 

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Mountain stream Photographed and copyrighted 2015

Mountain stream
Photographed and copyrighted 2015

 

 

Blue Ridge Mountains Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Blue Ridge Mountains
Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Our Individual Paths to Peace


When we begin our journeys in this life, I don’t think we really have a concept of peace. As children and teens, we are looking for other things in our lives. Without peace, life can seem dull, cruel and worthless. As we find our peace within, we see more and more of what is really happening in our lives. With inner peace, we can survive more easily the hits the world sends our way.

 

So we are on our path and we decide we need inner peace. Well, then what? There is an inner landscape within us that is a source of peace if we but spend time there. Our peace takes choices: Do we hate or forgive? Do we judge others or accept them as they are? Do we look at others and think they are less than we are? Why would we do that? Because their skin color is different, they are less educated, because their clothes seem strange? We can’t look at others in a peaceful manner unless we are filled with peace ourselves.

 

What happens when others believe differently than we do? Do we fight? Do we make a judgement? No, we reach into our inner peace and spread some around us. We spread peace and everything becomes lighter. We spread peace and hope rises up like a beacon in the darkness. We spread peace and we become calmer and easier to deal with.

 

When we can live in peace, we look around us and see some very rare gifts we might have missed otherwise. I do not believe there is just one way to find inner peace. For myself, as I looked around at the world I saw dichotomies of peace and hate. Every time I did not choose hate, I found a little more peace within me. Every time I did not judge others harshly, my life grew more comfortable and peaceful.

 

Every time I helped someone else with a problem, a problem in my own life grew smaller and I felt better. Every time I committed a random act of kindness, one would unexpectedly return to me. Time after time, year after year, I got more comfortable with this huge cushion of peace in my life. When someone was mean, cruel or nasty, I found that I just sunk deeper into the cushion of peace that had formed around me.

 

Does this mean nothing ever hurts me or upsets me? No, it doesn’t, but it gets easier feel the inner peace than the hurt feelings. It is easier to reach out to others in kindness than anger. The peace we carry within is like a pebble we throw into a pond: as it ripples out in ever widening circles, it touches more and more people. Their inner peace flows outward to us and we become stronger in our own peace. It is a cycle in the wheel of life. The inner peace flows outward and touches those who need it. The cycle never stops.

 

 

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Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, 2009

Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, copyright 2009

A Sunday Thought


It’s been a long, hard week.  Cold and depressing and the world creeps every closer to war.

This may seem an odd time to post this, but I think it’s always appropriate.  This is my contribution of positive energy into the world today.

 

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Fly Over the Rainbow & Don't Worry, Be Happy Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Fly Over the Rainbow & Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Photo Copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013